American Neutrality Acts Of The 1930s, Arms And World War Ii Involvement

1253 words - 5 pages

During the 1930s, the Americans desire to avoid foreign entanglements became a priority for congress. Therefore in the beginning of 1935, lawmakers passed a series of Neutrality Acts that banned travel on ships and the sales of arms to countries at war. This policy was formed in hopes to avoid Japanese and German aggression. However during December 1940, Roosevelt announced the United States would become the “great arsenal of democracy (Foner 857),” providing Britain and China with military supplies in their fight against Germany and Japan. In addition to forming an alliance with Britain and China, president Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States, halting all trade between the countries, including the sale of oil vital to Japan. Little did the United States realize, their contribution to the war efforts only involved them in the war, but why did the U.S policymaker decide to use the atomic bomb? One reason was that they wanted to be sure that the USSR did not occupy Manchuria, secondly the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor created fear and racism towards Japanese nation’s ominous power, and lastly due to Japanese demoralizing strategy of human bombs, it fueled the Americans’ hatred, further motivating them to end the war efforts quickly.
In the United States prejudices against Japanese descendants was common. However following the shocking attack on Pearl Harbor (November 1941) that resulted in 2,300 casualties, twelve sank ships, nine damaged ships, 160 destroyed aircraft, and 150 damaged ships, produced an unprecedented hatred of Japan. The disaster of Pearl Harbor’s bombing termed December 7th “a date which will live in infamy” quoted by Franklin D. Roosevelt (Foner 858). Ultimately lead to Congress declaration of war against Japan. About 70 percent of Japanese Americans residing in the United States lived in California, dominating the vegetable farming industry of the Los Angeles area. While one third of the Japanese populations were immigrants, a majority of Japanese Americans were American born and therefore citizens; but the Japanese American community did not remain unaffected by the rising tide of hatred. Unlike the German Americans and Italian Americans, the government viewed every person of Japanese ethnicity as a potential spy.
Catalyzed by exaggerated fears of Japanese invasion of the West coast and pressure from whites who saw an opportunity to gain possession of Japanese American property, the military convinced Roosevelt to issue executive order 9066 in February of 1942. Executive order 9066 ordered the relocation of all Japanese descent from the West Coast excluding Hawaii, because Hawaii’s economy could not run efficiently without Japanese labor work. Moreover, the Japanese American population in Hawaii nearly made 40 percent of the state’s population. The Japanese Americans in the West Coast were subjected to a quasi-military discipline in the camps, living in former horse stables barbed with wire fences....

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